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Advancing Fundamental Physics with the Laser Astrometric Test of Relativity

Turyshev, S.G. and Shao, M. and Nordtvedt, K.L. and Dittus, H. and Lämmerzahl, C. and Theil, S. and Salomon, C. and Reynaud, S. and Damour, T. and Johann, U. and Bouyer, P. and Touboul, P. and Foulon, B. and Bertolami, O. and Páramos, J. (2009) Advancing Fundamental Physics with the Laser Astrometric Test of Relativity. Experimental Astronomy, 27, pp. 27-60. Springer-Science+Business Media B.V.. DOI: DOI 10.1007/s10686-009-9170-9. ISSN 0922-6435.

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The Laser Astrometric Test of Relativity (LATOR) is an experiment designed to test the metric nature of gravitation - a fundamental postulate of the Einstein´s general theory of relativity. The key element of LATOR is a geometric redundancy provided by the long-baseline optical interferometry and interplanetary laser ranging. By using a combination of independent time-series of gravitational defelction of light in the immediate proximity of the Sun, along with measurements of the Shapiro time delay on interplanetary scales (to a precision respectively better than 0.1 picoradians and 1 cm), LATOR will significantly improve our knowledge of relativistic gravity and cosmology. The primary mission objective is i) to measure the key post-Newtonian Eddington parameter gamma with accuracy of a part in 10^9, 1/2(1 - gamma) is adirect measure for presence of a new interaction in gravitational theory, and, its search, LATOR goes a factor 30,000 beyond the present best result, Cassini´s 2003 test. Other mission objectives include: ii) first measurement of gravity´s non-linear effects on light to ~ 0.01 % accuracy; including both the traditional Eddington beta parameter and also the spatial metric´s 2nd order potential contribution (never measured before); iii) direcht measurement of the solar quadrupole moment J2 (currently unavailable) to accuracy of a part in 200 of its expected size of ~ 10^-7; iv) direct measurement of the "frame dragging" effect on light due to Sun´s rotational gravitomagentic field, to 0.1 % accuracy. LATOR´s primary measurement pushes to unprecedented accuracy the search for cosmologically relevant scalar-tensor theories of gravity by looking for a remnant scalar field in today´s solar system. We discuss the science objectives of the mission, its technology, mission and optical designs, as well as expected performance of this experiment. LATOR will lead to very robust advances in the tests of fundamental physics: this mission could discover a violation or extension of general relativity and/or reveal the presence of an additional long range interaction in the physical law. There are no analogs to LATOR; it is unique and is a natrual culmination of solar system gravity experiments.

Document Type:Article
Title:Advancing Fundamental Physics with the Laser Astrometric Test of Relativity
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Turyshev, S.G.Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena CA
Shao, M.Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena CA
Nordtvedt, K.L.Northwest Analysis, Bozeman MT
Dittus, H.DLR Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme, Bremen
Lämmerzahl, C.ZARM, Univ. Bremen
Theil, S.DLR Instut für Raumfahrtsysteme, DLR, Bremen
Salomon, C.Lab. Kastler Brossel, CNRS, Paris
Reynaud, S.Lab. Kastler Brossel, CNRS, Paris
Damour, T.Inst. Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, Bures-sur-Yvette
Johann, U.EADS Astrium, Friedrichshafen
Bouyer, P.Lab CHarles Fabry, Inst d´Optique, Paris
Touboul, P.ONERA, Chatillon
Foulon, B.ONERA, Chatillon
Bertolami, O.Inst. Sup. Técnico, Lisbon
Páramos, J.Inst. Sup. Técnico, Lisbon
Date:23 May 2009
Journal or Publication Title:Experimental Astronomy
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI:DOI 10.1007/s10686-009-9170-9
Page Range:pp. 27-60
von Ballmoos, PeterUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:Springer-Science+Business Media B.V.
Keywords:Fundamental physics, Test of general relativivty, Scalar-tensor theories, Modified gravity, Interplanetary laser ranging, Optical interferometry, Picometer-class metrology, LATOR
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W - no assignement
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W - no assignement
DLR - Research theme (Project):W -- no assignement (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems
Deposited By: Prof.Dr. Hansjörg Dittus
Deposited On:11 Mar 2010 15:35
Last Modified:04 Apr 2013 16:21

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